ISFDB:Help desk/archives/archive 32

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This archive includes discussions from January - June 2020.

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How to disambiguate different art with same title/same artist?

Two editions of the same work with totally different art by the same artist. Should I disambiguate by appending (second edition) to the cover art title of the 2nd one? Other suggestion on how to discriminate between the two? Thanks! MagicUnk 13:45, 8 January 2020 (EST)

Nope, just add a note explaining that it is different from the other one (at least in one, preferably in both). We have that quite often with art titles. See this and this for example. This is why we never allow blind merging of covers :) Annie 13:52, 8 January 2020 (EST)
PS: More examples: here :) Annie 13:56, 8 January 2020 (EST)
Thanks! MagicUnk 16:52, 8 January 2020 (EST)

Feedback on Dutch magazine 'Wonderwaan' entries requested

I've started entering the Dutch magazine Wonderwaan. I'm not entirely satisfied, and would like some seasoned editors and moderators to have a look and comment/provide suggestions. Questions that I'm having:

  • Front and back cover artists exist - two cover art records?
No, back cover are treated as interior art.--Dirk P Broer 20:29, 8 January 2020 (EST)
Agree with Dirk. Back cover is always on page 'bc' --Willem 06:16, 9 January 2020 (EST)
  • The magazine's website lists an artist's name as Susanne ‘Sushy’ van Schaik - record the art with this name, or normalize to Suzanne van Schaik? And what if the website lists Sushy van Schaik? I currently have both varianted to the canonical Susanne van Schaik.
Right.--Dirk P Broer 20:29, 8 January 2020 (EST)
Credit should be as stated in the magazines of course. I will correct everything when (if ever) I verify my collection of Dutch magazines. Credit is as Susanne ‘Sushy’ van Schaik in #3, #4 and #5. Cover (front & back) for #3 is by Remco Nieboer, and #4 (front & back) is by Sophia Drenth. Is the Wonderwaan website really that sloppy? --Willem 06:16, 9 January 2020 (EST)
  • Magazine title; do I record as Wonderwaan, Nr.x, month year, even if the cover page says something (slightly) different? For example Maart 2008 - Wonderwaan nr.5 (jaargang 2 nr.1) is as on the cover page, which I have now normalized to Wonderwaan, Nr.5, maart 2008.
I am in favour of the normalization.--Dirk P Broer 20:29, 8 January 2020 (EST)
Every issue of Wonderwaan has it's own subject, printed on the frontcover (#1 is 'Weird West". #2 is 'Misdaad in de toekomst', #3 is 'Koning gorilla', #4 is 'Na ons de zondvloed' and #5 is 'Koning gorilla slaat terug'. Sometimes the title on the titlepage is different ((#2 has 'Misdaad', #3 has 'Koning Gorilla: Hollandsche Stoompunk'). Normalization is ok, but i.m.o. these subtitles should also be in the title (like I did with some issues of Pure Fantasy.
    • In addition, Title Help says ...the title should be of the form Magazine Title, Date, ..., and, If there is no apparent date, or the date is incomplete, a volume/issue number may be substituted. The date is preferable... Does this imply that this help text is outdated, and should be updated to reflect the current(?) practice of having both issue number and date, separated by a comma in the magazine title as shown here? See here for another title variant...
I think the help text is still for English magazines. The comma is to build a readable issue grid. European magazines often have an issue number, and not always a date on the cover. I believe current practice is to reflect what is on the cover. --Willem 06:18, 9 January 2020 (EST)
Yes for now. It can always be changed if necessary. --Willem 06:16, 9 January 2020 (EST)

Other stuff that's missing/wrong?

I.m.o. the publisher should be NCSF. We already have an entry for them here. Publishers can be merged by moderators.
The editors of Wonderwaan are Jaap Boekestein and Marcel Orie, credited in every issue. I think Roelof Goudriaan was added to the editorial team at a certain point (see the download for #49). Can't remember when.
You will run into other problems with this magazine (I remember #14 and #16 were combined with the current issue of Holland SF, and #39 and #43 were Edgezero editions. I have no direct solution for these. Maybe #14 and #16 should have two entries.
If you have questions about a specific issue of Wonderwaan, feel free to ask and I will pull out the magazine. --Willem 06:16, 9 January 2020 (EST)

Thanks ! MagicUnk 17:40, 8 January 2020 (EST)

Great suggestions! I'll take these into consideration. I'll start with adding all the data as I find them on Catawiki and the website (hope it isn't too sloppy... :), and once I've done that we can see what still needs to be updated/corrected. Does that sound like a plan? If there's anything else that you want me to do/take into account when entering these, do let me know :) MagicUnk 07:07, 9 January 2020 (EST)
You're doing a great job, I have no additional wishes. Anything that's wrong can later be corrected. You know there's a free download for issues 37 to 49 on the Wonderwaan website? --Willem 16:24, 9 January 2020 (EST)
Ah, hadn't seen it yet, but that'll be a great resource! Thanks for the hint. I'll have a look. MagicUnk 17:20, 9 January 2020 (EST)

Bilbo's Last Song coverart

It looks like there are three different cover art pieces for 'Bilbo's Last Song' - see here and title note. What would be the best way to handle the disambiguation of these? Thanks in advance. MagicUnk 09:15, 18 January 2020 (EST)

If they are all reproductions of the interior illustrations (two clearly are; what's the third, that front cover frame?), one simple way to do it would be to create INTERIORART records for the illustrations, with some sort of disambiguated title -- parenthetical location, subject, etc. -- then make as many COVERART credits as you need and make each specific COVERART instance a variant of the appropriate INTERIORART record. You could see how that looks. --MartyD 09:20, 20 January 2020 (EST)
I have some difficulties discerning the differences, but I think the green, blue, and white covers are all three different from each other. I didn't count the cover frame as a distinct piece. As to your suggestion, we could do that, but I would rather variant the interior art to the respective covers. Also, I don't have the pub so I don't have any idea about which interior art is which, and hence to what art the covers need to be varianted. We could ask Ldb001 or Nihonjoe though. I am thinking myself to just disambiguate the cover art by appending a sequence number in square brackets (like [1], [2], [3]) and leave it at that. Any other suggestions? MagicUnk 13:37, 20 January 2020 (EST)
The variant should have the parent be the original work, and the variants be the other uses. So if the covers reproduce what was originally accompanying illustrations, then the coverart should be variants of the interiorart. That said, I see there are two different front covers (I didn't notice that) and one back cover. They don't quite follow the color scheme. There's the group of riders going through the woods, the group of riders overlooking a valley, and the scene at the sea (the lone back cover). You could number them, but I don't think it will help enough. We do not have a separate image of just the back cover, so you would end up with [1] and [3] both with the same artist and both pointing to the same image, and likewise [2] and [3]. I think you'd be better off with some sort of clearer identification on individual interiorart records and then letting the variant handling and display take care of the coverart disambiguation for you. That's just my opinion. The records involving the two different front covers should definitely be split -- that they are all combined is a mistake. --MartyD 07:57, 21 January 2020 (EST)
I've left a message on Ldb001 and Nihonjoe's pages. They may be able to add the data as you laid out above. MagicUnk 10:38, 21 January 2020 (EST)

"Foresight" by Michael Swanwick

There are two different short stories by Michael Swanwick called "Foresight", which the title record 46505 currently conflates. One is part of "The Periodic Table of Science Fiction", the other is published in "Gravity's Angels" (and presumably all earlier publications), and there is no connection between them beyond the shared title. I am pointing this out here as I am not sure how to properly split up title records. --Pfadintegral 04:12, 26 January 2020 (EST)

I separated the two stories and placed a warning note not to merge them again. Thanks for bringing this to our attentieo! --Willem 04:32, 26 January 2020 (EST)

A Question About An Image

I’ve been trying to replace the image on this page for The Ancient Enemy with this image but it won’t take, and I can’t figure out why. MLB 20:30, 1 February 2020 (EST)

Due to issues with the old wiki software we use, browsers do not always recognize when an image has been updated. You need to refresh your browser cache. For most browsers, you can reload the page using Shift F5. If that doesn't work, try clearing your cache via the settings and reloading. -- JLaTondre (talk) 21:18, 1 February 2020 (EST)
Well, I tried, and my image is still not being posted, and what's worse, it looks like I'm claiming credit for Don Erikson's image, which I don't want to do. MLB 02:35, 2 February 2020 (EST)
For what it's worth, it DID take- I'm seeing your image just fine when I open the pub page. Looks like the issue is browser side afer all. MagicUnk 03:20, 2 February 2020 (EST)
As MagicUnk stated, we're seeing it fine (I guess I should have clearly said I was too vice just implying that). You need to clear your cache on the browser. If you let us know your browser version, I can walk you through the steps. If this happens again, please do not continue to upload the image over and over. That will not have any effect and just wastes server space. -- JLaTondre (talk) 07:34, 2 February 2020 (EST)

World Fantasy Award 2000

There's an error on the award page for the World Fantasy Award 2000. Charles de Lint won for his collection Moonlight and Vines [1] but the award page lists the winner as Sweetgrass and City Streets [2] which is just a poem in that collection. The record for Sweetgrass indicates that it was also nominated as best collection by Locus and BFA. I suspect that the record for Sweetgrass used to be the collection record, and somehow it got shifted to the poem record? Anyway, I'm not sure how to edit an award, so I put this here for someone to address. Gengelcox 22:52, 3 February 2020 (EST)

I have fixed it. All of the awards were indeed for the collection. Thank you for finding that! -- JLaTondre (talk) 20:02, 4 February 2020 (EST)

Works of Jules Verne

There is a 15 volume set recorded as a single publication. My inclination is to break it up into 15 entries but a couple of factors make this difficult.

  1. Each volume has the same title page. There is a preceding page that specifies which volume it is in the set. So, by the rules, each volume would have the same title.
  2. The first volume specifies which edition the set is part of - there are as many as 12 different editions (either as named or by different publishers) many in limited numbers, with possible different bindings within an edition. All published the same year. How would they be distinguished, or would they have to be?
  3. At least one story is split between volumes. In this case within the first 'book' of the three that make up Mysterious Island. Do two volumes contain the full title or is each part a separate title that gets varianted?
  4. What would tie the volumes together - naming convention, title series or publisher series?
  5. Two of the editions have only the first 10 volumes.

Which leads me to believe it is best to leave well enough alone. In spite of the deranged page number listing it gives in summaries. I'm about to embark on a cleanup of the contents by getting titles to match the correct translations. A change in approach could be accommodated to reduce later reworking. ../Doug H 10:53, 6 February 2020 (EST)

I just realized the only questions were buried. I'm looking for opinions on whether to keep this as a 15 volume set or not, and if not, how to deal with the issues. Thanks. ../Doug H 11:13, 8 February 2020 (EST)
For the record, I did split the volumes. I used the edition name as a publisher series to tie them together. ../Doug H 11:37, 3 March 2020 (EST)
I like this solution (and I thought I posted earlier... apparently not) :) Annie 13:14, 3 March 2020 (EST)

An untitled book?

Okay, I'm stuck, I'd like to enter this book, but I'm not even sure of its name, other that it's one of two in a series. Any ideas? MLB 02:42, 8 February 2020 (EST)

It's titled "Short Stories Eligible for the 1941 Retro-Hugos". That is what is listed on both the title page and in the "About this Book" essay. -- JLaTondre (talk) 08:24, 8 February 2020 (EST)
I guess it just sounds more like a subtitle, is all. MLB 20:59, 8 February 2020 (EST)

Lengths on split-novel variants

In the Novel-republished-in-pieces scenario that we are handling by making the pieces variants of the original NOVEL record, do we have the variants also be NOVEL without worrying about whether their actual length is shorter than the NOVEL minimum? --MartyD 13:04, 13 February 2020 (EST)

I believe so -- unless they are in a newspaper/magazine so they can be called SERIALs or split into very small chunks (the chapbook/serial rule), we really do not have any other provisions. The help page does not even mention the word length into the explanation. I'd been advocating to make these SERIALs but oh well :) Annie 16:26, 13 February 2020 (EST)
Yeah, I'm firmly in the SERIAL camp with you. Thanks for the second opinion. --MartyD 07:44, 14 February 2020 (EST)

Help docs on adding new or existing shortfiction to a collection?

I'm in the process of adding this year's recently announced BSFA shortlists to ISFDB. For the short fiction category, I've submitted edits for 5 of the 6 finalists, but the outstanding one is a story that isn't currently in ISFDB. The collection that contains it is, but currently has no contents entered:

Based on the "Look Inside" preview on Amazon, this collection seems to contain a mix of short fiction that's already in ISFDB, and some that needs to be added. However, I'm completely stumped as to how I might do this. (Up till now, I've pretty much only ever submitted edits for novels.)

Rather than submit bad edits that a mod will need to fix or reject, I've gone as far as trying to make these edits on a local copy of ISFDB, so that I can try to get them right before doing them for real. However, all I've managed to achieve so far is creating duplicate title entries for the short fiction that was already in the database, which suggests I'm doing things wrong.

The help docs and Wiki search haven't thrown up anything that has enlightened me - the former seem to document novels much more than short fiction. Could anyone point me in the direction of any docs that describe the process I should follow? (I really don't want or care to go as far as looking through the Python code to see if I can reverse-engineer what I'm supposed to do, but that's the only other option I can think of, other than giving up...)

Thanks in advance... ErsatzCulture 11:12, 16 February 2020 (EST)

I am not sure we have docs for exactly that but here is a short version:
  • For new content we do not have - Edit the publication in the same way you do it for novels and find the contents section. Add each story there.
  • For contents items we do have: you can do the same as above (and then merge post approval) or you can use Import instead by using the IDs of the stories in the Option 2 part of the screen on Import.
why don’t you try? If you do not add the complete contents, add the incomplete template to the notes so we know it needs more work. :)Annie 16:39, 16 February 2020 (EST)
Thanks - I'll give it a go tomorrow. ErsatzCulture 18:19, 16 February 2020 (EST)
Importing existing titles is the better way because it involves less edits than adding new titles and merging them with existing ones in a subsequent submission. There's a help for importing titles: Help:Screen:ImportContent. It looks like chapter "Option 2: Import Individual Titles" is the one you're looking for. Jens Hitspacebar 13:03, 17 February 2020 (EST)

Panther's practice of adding an additional number after the ISBN

Does anyone know what this signifies, and if printings with the same ISBN have been followed by different numbers at all? From my books this number is always a '2' or '3' and only on Asimov and Vonnegut titles. Thanks, Kev. BanjoKev 17:38, 25 February 2020 (EST)

Project Gutenberg titles and dates

Is there an ISFDB policy on Project Gutenberg publications regarding titles and dates. Based on a very small sampling, their first line contains a title (along with "The Project Gutenberg EBook of ..."), followed by prefacing metadata provides a title, release date and last updated date. Their marker line for delimiting the text includes a title. The text itself also contains the originally published title.

Using their entry 3526 I found:

First line: Five Weeks in a Balloon
Metadata title: Five Weeks in a Balloon {over} Journeys and Discoveries in Africa by Three Englishmen
Delimiter title: Five Weeks in a Balloon
Text title: FIVE WEEKS IN A BALLOON {over} Or, {over} Journeys And Discoveries In Africa By Three Englishmen.
Release Date: November, 2002 [EBook #3526]
Last Updated: October 13, 2016

Their text appears to be from a later edition of the Lackland translation published by Appleton, but the title page is the same and thus appears to be another publication of that title. Which title is used would determine if the publication appears under the TITLE for the earlier publication or its own. And if this is the earliest publication under the chosen title, the TITLE record should use the publication date of this PG entry, which means the date affects more than the PUB record. And as an added wrinkle, their license states: Project Gutenberg-tm eBooks are often created from several printed editions, all of which are confirmed as Public Domain in the U.S. unless a copyright notice is included. Thus, we do not necessarily keep eBooks in compliance with any particular paper edition. Which brings in the question whether the possible edits make this a new TITLE regardless of how the titles match. ../Doug H 11:34, 3 March 2020 (EST)

The title entered should be from the title "page". The stuff before the "** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK ..." is their header. The "FIVE WEEKS IN A BALLOON; Or, Journeys And Discoveries In Africa By Three Englishmen" is the actual title. It is easier to see in the HTML and ebook versions vs the text version. As for dates, the release date is what should be used for the dating. The release date is best found from the Bibrec tab on the catalog record page. That will always be the full date which is not always the case for the date in the file. The updates could be considered additional printings, but the updates are usually minor changes (typos, etc.). They also only list the last update so if we did treat them as additional printings, it would be hard to capture them all. As for versions, while the license does state that, it's not true in practice. Or at least, not any more. These days, they tend to transcribe a specific publication right down to the original copyright page and all (example). -- JLaTondre (talk) 23:38, 4 March 2020 (EST)
Nice to see this so clearly stated. I'll be updating this pub's title. ../Doug H 09:58, 5 March 2020 (EST)

I have recently read a number of ebooks which seem to lead to this group as the publisher. I could not help myself, I proofread as I went. Can I send you the edits? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Randtr (talkcontribs) .

Proofreading changes to the Project Gutenberg texts themselves? Those you would have to send to them. See their contact page which specifies how to do that. If you are talking about errors in our records, feel free to submit the edits to those directly. I have left a welcome message on your talk page that provides links to the help. Let us know if you have any questions. -- JLaTondre (talk) 06:53, 6 March 2020 (EST)

Correct logic of entering new series for a revived magazine?

Dear brethren, before I do something daft, would some kind soul mind to enlighten me as to the correct sequence/approach how to add: an entry for the 2019 set of issues, then entries for the four individual issues within that year, and then entries for the pieces of fiction and non-fiction contained within each issue. Or have I got this backwards? Many thanks in advance, --M2EU 16:18, 20 March 2020 (EDT)

Start by adding the webzine along with its contents. Use the "Add New Magazine" option on the left side of the magazine. You can use the existing entries as a guide. Please also see Help:Screen:NewPub. When adding the magazine, add the contents of the magazine. Once that entry is approved, it would then be added to the series, but the magazine entry has to be created first. See Help:How to add a magazine issue to the magazine's issue grid for details on the second step. Magazines are one of the more tricky types so feel free to ask us questions. Thanks for contributing! -- JLaTondre (talk) 16:49, 20 March 2020 (EDT)

Bradley's The Door Through Space / Bird of Prey

I came across these, because the German chapbook titles (as Das Weltraumtor) show up on the Variant Title Dates Before Canonical Title Dates cleanup report, and I'm not really sure what to do with this. It seems we have two versions of this title in the database, the original novelette and the resurrected novel. One problem is, that some of the variants of the novelette are typed as novella's, another is that wordcount of the (1961 expanded) Ace double version comes to approximately 45.000 words, well in the novel range. Attempts to clear up this mess would probably make things even worse. Question is, should we have three or four versions (novelette, novella, 1961 novel and 1979 novel), and which publication should be under which title? --Willem 16:48, 26 March 2020 (EDT)

Looks like nobody is interested. I unvarianted the novella type records from the novelettes, and placed a warning not to variant them again. --Willem 03:09, 15 July 2020 (EDT)
If we split them (and I think we should - at least the major pieces), sorting out which publication belongs where will be... a problem (similar to how we have issues sorting out some translations). Here because of the difference in types, it will be even more annoying... I am not sure why you would have novella and novelette? We go by the type of the original so even if it crosses somewhere in a translation, we take the type of the original -- or did I miss a different original from both types? Annie 15:31, 15 July 2020 (EDT)
There are at least three different versions of the story. First appearance was the novelette Bird of Prey. This was expanded to novel length in 1959, but at first only published in German, this record. According to Christian's notes parts of the German translation were later re-translated in English, and published by Ace in 1979. The third version is the hardest, the expansion to novel length (approximately 45.000 words) for the 1961 Ace Double edition, which was turned into a novella by Christian, and varianted to Bird of Prey. For now I left it as a novella, but separated from the novelette. Hope that makes things clearer. The only real problem I see, are the non-verified editions where we have no pagenumbers. --Willem 15:56, 15 July 2020 (EDT)

Uncommon Assassins

When I cloned this book here I got this. What did I do wrong? MLB 04:14, 28 March 2020 (EDT)

Someone merged a story after you sent the update - or at the same time. When you clone, it records the IDs of the stories. Then when a story is merged and the id does not exist anymore, the UI does that. Annoying but it does happen. Just clone again. Annie 04:25, 28 March 2020 (EDT)

SQL Query?

I know there is no way to do an ISBN lookup directly on the live site. But I'm Running a local copy to do so (as was suggested to me a while ago).

I've kind of gone down a rabbit hole of trying to write a sql query that that take an ISBN, and return @TITLE, @FirstName, @LastName, @TYPE, @SERIESTITLE, @VOLNUM, @PUBLISHER, @PUBYEAR, @PUBBINDINGTYPE, @PUBTYPE, @PUBPRICE, @ISFDBPUBLINK;

my sql skills and understanding of the data isn't quite as strong as I would like and I keep running into boundary cases that seem to break the way I'm trying to pull the data from the tables together.

Here's one of the latest iterations of my query... (please don't laugh)

set @ISBN = '1416521178'; Most of bad code deleted for brevity sake

Jlassen 15:37, 2 April 2020 (EDT)Jlassen


IS there a better way to go about this? Am I reinventing the wheel here?

If anyone has whipped together this kind of query... and can return multiple authors of a given work (or at least the first two?), would you be willing to share your efforts with me? I don't need much hand holding or anybody to teach me how to implement it on my setup... if its a working script I can certainly figure out the details of why and how.

But I've been staring at this long enough to know that I'm probably not doing it right. :(

Jlassen 19:41, 1 April 2020 (EDT)Jlassen

I *think* this does everything you want, obviously you'll need to explicitly specify which particular columns you're after, and a quick glance at your queries indicates you'll want filter clauses on title_ttype etc, but I was too lazy to add those.
   SELECT * FROM pubs p
   LEFT OUTER JOIN pub_content pc ON pc.pub_id = p.pub_id
   LEFT OUTER JOIN titles t ON t.title_id = pc.title_id
   LEFT OUTER JOIN canonical_author ca ON ca.title_id = t.title_id
   LEFT OUTER JOIN authors a ON a.author_id = ca.author_id
   LEFT OUTER JOIN publishers prs ON prs.publisher_id = p.publisher_id -- forgot this in my initial comment
   LEFT OUTER JOIN series s on s.series_id = t.series_id  -- and then I forgot this, how flaky am I?
   WHERE pub_isbn = '1416521178';
Beware that ISBNs can occur in the database multiple times, so you might get duplicated results for 1st printing, 2nd printing etc, if someone added those as separate pubs. I think you might want to do any processing of author name into given/family name outside of SQL, where you can do more intelligent processing to handle non-Western/Anglophone names that don't follow the basic pattern.
I've got a repo of Python scripts that do SQL queries here. Most of those were developed before I ever looked at the "real" ISFDB source (so may have incorrect understanding of how things work), and I don't think there's anything close to what you're asking about, but maybe that's a bit more accessible for seeing how things work compared to the much larger ISFDB repo on SourceForge?
BTW, on Wiki pages like this, you should sign your comments with four-tildes, otherwise people will shout at you until you eventually mend your ways (like I did). This causes Media wiki to evaluate it as a username and timestamp like this: ErsatzCulture 19:34, 1 April 2020 (EDT)

That does seem to do most of what I am trying to do. I really appreciate your response and insight, and note about signing my portions..

Jlassen 19:47, 1 April 2020 (EDT)Jlassen

Here's what I ended up going with... SELECT p.pub_title, p.pub_year, p.pub_ptype, p.pub_ctype, p.pub_price, publisher_name, author_lastname, author_canonical , t.title_ttype, t.title_title, s.series_title, t.title_seriesnum, pub_isbn, p.pub_id, a.author_id, t.title_id, t.series_id FROM pubs p

  LEFT OUTER JOIN pub_content pc ON pc.pub_id = p.pub_id
  LEFT OUTER JOIN titles t ON t.title_id = pc.title_id
  LEFT OUTER JOIN canonical_author ca ON ca.title_id = t.title_id
  LEFT OUTER JOIN authors a ON a.author_id = ca.author_id
  LEFT OUTER JOIN publishers prs ON prs.publisher_id = p.publisher_id -- forgot this in my initial comment
  left outer Join series s on s.series_id = t.series_id  -- added this one for series info. Only going to pull 
  WHERE pub_isbn = '9780756405502' and t.title_ttype in ("ANTHOLOGY","COLLECTION","NOVEL","NONFICTION","OMNIBUS","CHAPBOOK" ) and pub_ptype <> "ebook" and p.pub_year <> 0

Filer logic: First the title_ttype limits the results to the rows that corresponds to the book title itself and not contents of the work... Next, for further simplifications of multiple author logic, I am discarding Ebooks. Next I want to discard anything that doesn't have a pub date... for my purposes first printing data of a particular ISBN is fine... and that will help me simplify my Multipole Author logic later.

One thing got me thinking was... Will I be using Publication Title or Title title. They should be the same, right? Even an Omnibus should have a Title... an omnibus title, which then has contents that correspond to the individual works?

This query was very revelatory...

  WHERE t.title_ttype in ("ANTHOLOGY","COLLECTION","NOVEL","NONFICTION","OMNIBUS","CHAPBOOK" ) and pub_ptype <> "ebook" and p.pub_year <> 0 and t.title_title <> p.pub_title

I am trying to understand places where the pub_title is SUPPOSED to be the same as the TITLE_title, vs places where it is mistaken data that doesn't match ISFDB standards, vs the difference exist to capture nuance of publication data...

in the case of Ominbus editions, there is obviously another field somewhere (omnibus title?) that is being used in the web site's display mechanisms, but this seems to be something impacting collections and anthologies as well.

Just an observation. It seems like for my purposes the Publication title will be more useful, but we will see.

Thanks again to ErsatzCulture, and to all the editors who fight against the chaos that threatens data normalization. you all rule.

Jlassen 16:06, 2 April 2020 (EDT)Jlassen

In general, publication title and title title will match. There are a few caveats though:
  • If a pub appears with and without a subtitle, they are usually, but not always, combined at the title level.
  • We used to have a "rule" that if a pub had a series as part of the title page, the series could be listed in the pub title but not at the title level. This rule was abandoned, but you will find older pub records that have not been cleaned up.
  • Different editors have differing opinions on minor punctuation differences. Sometimes they will be varianted under different title records and sometimes combined under one.
Anything else is probably an error in the database. As for omnibuses, collections, and anthologies, they do not have separate titles types. They have the same publication title and title title as any other publication. -- JLaTondre (talk) 18:50, 2 April 2020 (EDT)

I. G. Harding

Oh joy, another question. I was thinking of adding I. G. Harding to the databank, but several of his book end up looking like this. What do you do? I'm not going to add every single "edition" of this book to this site. It would drive me insane, not to mention all of the moderators. MLB 06:42, 2 April 2020 (EDT)

There are some duplicates in this list but even when removed, this guy had been busy republishing the same story. I would add the first one and the current one (if different) if I was adding it. If you feel like adding some of the rest, up to you. Ebooks and versions can be tricky and annoying. Annie 08:35, 2 April 2020 (EDT)

Adding ebook pub of Paul McAuley's A Very British History collection

I noticed this ebook pub - which I own and can PV - isn't currently in ISFDB, so I'd like to add it. My initial thought was to try cloning one of the two existing print pubs e.g. . However, it seems that the ebook contains both the contents of that pub, plus "A Very British History: Additional Stories" , which makes me wonder what the best course of action is for this?

The "Additional Stories" are only 4 titles, so it wouldn't be the most terrible thing in the world to clone the main publication, and then manually add the extra ones, but maybe there's a better way? My last attempt to update an existing collection was a bit of mess on my part, so I'm a tad hesitant to jump in on this one without having a decent idea about what I need to do...

Thanks ErsatzCulture 11:42, 2 April 2020 (EDT)

If you clone them, then this one will stay under the same title - and 4 stories in addition make it a new title in my book - even if the name is the same, it is not the same title record anymore. What I would do is to use New Collection and then after approval import the stories from the existing 2 publications (option 1 in the Import screen; you will need 2 submissions to import from each of the existing pubs). Annie 11:48, 2 April 2020 (EDT)
Thanks, I'll give it a try later. ErsatzCulture 12:24, 2 April 2020 (EDT)

Template:Cover Image Data1-2

Could someone please have a look at the edit page here and tell me why the template isn't showing the two artists. Thanks, Kev. BanjoKev 19:11, 4 April 2020 (EDT)

Because the template was {{Cover Image Data}}. Changed it to {{Cover Image Data1-2}} and all is working. It's on my list to streamline the templates (We should have one template that understands |Artist=, |Artist1=, |Artist2=, etc. and does the right thing depending on the arguments provided vs. separate templates. The existing ones can be redirected to the updated one to preserve past use.). Someday I will get to it. -- JLaTondre (talk) 19:45, 4 April 2020 (EDT)
Ah. In that case, a simple fix would be to make sure that "Data1-2" (also "Data1-3") is inserted into the template(s) when following the links "Template:Cover Image Data1-2" and "Template:Cover Image Data1-3" from this page [3]. Yes? Kev. BanjoKev 20:25, 4 April 2020 (EDT)
Sorry, what I meant was - append "1-2" and "1-3" into:
{{Cover Image Data
|Title=<publication title> etc here [4]
- they're missing at the moment. Kev BanjoKev 20:32, 4 April 2020 (EDT)
Yes, but a little more complicated than that as the current template allows positional arguments so cannot simply insert the additional artist fields as it would break the order. However, positional arguments are not used that often (mainly much older images) and could be easily converted over. Also need to handle the additional artist categories. I'll start working on it. -- JLaTondre (talk) 09:39, 5 April 2020 (EDT)
It always looks easier from the outside :) Thanks for what you're doing. Kev. BanjoKev 12:30, 5 April 2020 (EDT)

Harry Potter spell book

Not sure what to do with this one: Any suggestions? Thanks! MagicUnk 14:01, 10 April 2020 (EDT)

This looks like a NONFICTION work to me. It's "about" the Harry Potter works, which would make it "in". It is merely documenting something from the fictional universe, as spread across the many books. --MartyD 08:01, 11 April 2020 (EDT)

Duplicate author entry "Gregory Bossert" = "Gregory Norman Bossert"

Due to an editor error, the story "Dear Boy" from Weird Fiction Review #10 credits "Gregory Bossert" instead of my usual "Gregory Norman Bossert". Is there a way to add "Gregory Bossert" as an alternative name to my main entry:

Here's the new "Gregory Bossert" entry:

Thank you! —The preceding unsigned comment was added by User:Gregbossert (talkcontribs) .

Yes, I have made "Gregory Bossert" an alternate name for "Gregory Norman Bossert". Thanks for letting us know. -- JLaTondre (talk) 07:09, 16 April 2020 (EDT)

Lord Foul's Bane - Stephen Donaldson

Hi, I think the novel date in the regular titles here should be 1977-04-00 rather than 1978-00-00 - am I correct? If so, how do I change it? There are 7 more like it so, if I'm right, what's the best way to do this? Thanks, Kev. BanjoKev 06:30, 17 April 2020 (EDT)

Is there a publication in 1977 under that form of the author name? See this - all the books are 1978 or later. The earlier 1977 use the parent title with the longer author name. So unless there is a 1977 book with the shorter author name, the variant date is correct. If this is not what you mean, can you please clarify? Annie 07:18, 17 April 2020 (EDT)
There is an oddity in how variant / parent dates are displayed in pubs. If the variant has a different title, the original date will be shown next to the parent title (see this example). If the variant is due to only an alternate name (as in your case), the original date is not shown. If the pub is not the first appearance of the variant (as in this example), the first date will be the date of the variant. As Annie explained, the titles are dated correctly. Hopefully, this helps explain what dates are shown when. -- JLaTondre (talk) 07:46, 17 April 2020 (EDT)
What great answers both of you! I see now exactly how I went wrong. I'd not encountered an author with such a spread between the canonical and alternative names and hadn't noticed/made use of the 'Variant Titles' link on the main title page before. All is now clear - thank you both again! Kev. BanjoKev 08:13, 17 April 2020 (EDT)

Python script error

I got a Python script error when I did a search for a magazine with "récréa".

<class '_mysql_exceptions.OperationalError'>: (1267, "Illegal mix of collations (latin1_swedish_ci,IMPLICIT) and (utf8_general_ci,COERCIBLE) for operation 'like'")

Not a problem but thought you should know. ../Doug H 23:07, 18 April 2020 (EDT)

I'll take a look. Thanks for reporting it! Ahasuerus 23:37, 18 April 2020 (EDT)
Bug 751, "Searches for magazine titles with accented characters error out", has been created. Ahasuerus 10:32, 19 April 2020 (EDT)
Fixed. The bug was a side effect of what was supposed to be an improvement. The original idea was to enable more comprehensive magazine searches for magazines with accented characters in their titles. Unfortunately, it only worked in some cases and resulted in Python errors in other cases. The whole thing has been now nixed. Ahasuerus 17:39, 4 May 2020 (EDT)

Jada Fisher

I'm adding Jada Fisher's books to the databank, but somebody has already added the first four books in the Dragon Oracle series, and has them listed as novels, while they seem to be clearly chapbooks. Do I have to do these book's entries over, or is there a way to just change them to chapbooks as move on? MLB 21:53, 20 April 2020 (EDT)

They can be changed with 5 edits (as they have 2 books each)
  • Change the title to short fiction and then wait for it to be approved
  • Once approved, edit the publications, change them to chapbooks and add a new chapbook in each. You cannot import these because of a check on types so new one is needed.
  • once approved, merge the chapbooks.
  • edit the result (or one of the original ones) and mark the language as English.
if you would rather not do it and no one beats me to it, I will convert them in the morning. Annie 23:56, 20 April 2020 (EDT)
For the ones that have only 1 publication - edit the publication, change the pub type to chapbook, change the title to short fiction (this will keep the series where it belongs) and add a chapbook. After approval, add the language to the chapbook.
Also - are you sure that at least the first is not long enough - my rough count is too close to call - in which case I usually add as a novel and add a note. Annie 23:59, 20 April 2020 (EDT)
The first one seems to be a novel, but the rest seem pretty short. Even I would list them as novellas. MLB 05:34, 21 April 2020 (EDT)
Yep for the later ones, want to try to convert them or do you want me to? They seem to have 1 publication each only so that should be the much shorter 2 step second process. Annie 05:50, 21 April 2020 (EDT)
Books 2-4 are converted. Annie 12:08, 21 April 2020 (EDT)
For future reference, Help:How to convert a novel to a chapbook goes into the details of the conversion process. Ahasuerus 17:53, 4 May 2020 (EDT)

The Warlock In Spite of Himself -- series name and order

(copy-pasted from a Talk page)

I was adding in some Christopher Stasheff books to my database, and pulled up Christopher Stasheff's ISFDB page for "The Warlock In Spite of Himself" series, and I also pulled up the author's website list of books, <>. There are conflicts between the two, such as series name Rod Gallowglass (ISFDB) vs The Warlock (author website), "Escape Velocity" being included in the main Warlock series (ISFDB) instead of the DDT*Verse series (author's website), and "A Wizard in Abstentia" being #3 in the Rogue Wizard series on ISFDB vs. #1 on the author's website. What is done in this situation? Should changes be made for the books on ISFDB, or just leave it alone? --AndonSage 21:24, 27 April 2020 (EDT)

I haven't read Stasheff's books in the last 30 years or so, but I remember that the series order was changed once or twice. This is not an uncommon situation. Sometimes the order of publication, the internal chronological order and the author-recommended order vary significantly. When it happens, we pick one order and document the rest in series-level notes. For example, here is what we currently say about Demonica / Lords of Deliverance:
  • The series was originally known as "Demonica". Book 6 was originally advertised as book 1 of "Lords of Deliverance", a continuation series. Some time before 2014 the author consolidated all books in one "Demonica" series. As of 2017, the following titles are listed as "The Demonica Underworld" sub-series on the author's Web page: [snip]
I would suggest documenting the order given on Stasheff's Web site in the Note field. Ahasuerus 22:23, 27 April 2020 (EDT)
P.S. Re: series names, here what Help:Screen:EditSeries says:
  • A series can have only one name, so if two or more names are equally well known (e.g. one name is used in the UK and another in Australia), the only option is to list them all in a slash delimited format, e.g. Moon Singer / Free Trader / Moon Magic
Ahasuerus 22:24, 27 April 2020 (EDT)
I can enter the information in the series Note field, if that's what we're doing. --AndonSage 01:57, 28 April 2020 (EDT)
It sounds like a good plan. And if we decide to change it later, it will be there to work from. Annie 01:59, 28 April 2020 (EDT)
I entered notes for the series --AndonSage 01:22, 29 April 2020 (EDT)

Rules for including interior artwork

Referring to the help on INTERIORART here about Rules for including artwork. Before I clone this pub for my undated 3rd, 5th and 9th printings I just wanted to check out my reasoning here. The stock astronomical photo by Manfred Konrad is reproduced 16 times in each book. It's not particularly relevant to the story, apart from a tenuous link to the story's main character Cassie, it's not a significant piece of artwork nor is it by a well-known sf artist. It only seems to have been used by the publisher as a backdrop to the title page and to mark sections (i to xiii) of the novel. It's also used in The Infinite Sea (excerpt). I don't think it should be included in the Regular Titles/Contents section, but reference to it should be made in the pub notes. Although I seem to have answered my own question, I just wanted to check. Thanks, Kev. BanjoKev 11:26, 28 April 2020 (EDT)

Your conclusion is reasonable. You can either use the pub notes or a single interior art (definitely would not want an interior art record per occurrence). For decorative art, the helps says "these do not need to be included". It doesn't say they should not be included. Some editors include and some don't. As you are the one verifying this one, you get to make the choice. -- JLaTondre (talk) 08:18, 29 April 2020 (EDT)
Thanks for clarifying that. "these do not need to be included" was exactly the wording which prompted my question. Kev. BanjoKev 09:00, 29 April 2020 (EDT)

Which is the canonical?

Even for Jules Verne titles, Au XXIXième siècle : La journée d'un journaliste américain en 2889 is convoluted.

Seems that it was Jules Verne's idea, which his son Michael wrote up and published under Jules' name in English as In the Year 2889 in 1889. Jules modified it and published it starting in 1891 in French changing the year to 2890. The French version has been published a few times, sometimes with the original 2889 in the title. It has not been translated into English, although there may be a Dutch translation. Meanwhile the original English has been published under the original title and a variant. The title was included in the posthumous collection Hier et Demain (Yesterday and Tomorrow), although it's not clear (yet) whether this is Michel's or Jules' version. There are Dutch, German and Romanian editions with no clue (yet) as to which version they are based on. (According to various sources).

So which one(s) are canonical? Or, how much do we need to find out before we document this? ../Doug H 17:28, 28 April 2020 (EDT)

There is a scholarly study by Arthur B. Evans with details, which includes the idea that the I. O. Evans translation of Yesterday and Tomorrow re-translated the story back to English. The study of this story starts about half-way through the article. ../Doug H 19:55, 28 April 2020 (EDT)

Okay, I've pulled text and compared and here's what I found.

  1. Story published as "In the Year 2889" in an English magazine in 1889, under Jules Verne. Based on correspondence, Jules Verne (JV) says it was entirely the work of Michel Verne (MV). Neither JV nor MV had English that good according to scholarship, so likely a translation of an unpublished text.
  2. Story published as "La Journée d’un journaliste américain en 2890" in two French journals in 1890/91, under Jules Verne. The story is the same, but there are dozen or so variations not due to translation, such as dates, number, names and additional sentences. These are publications on which JV had membership and scholarship suggesting these were his edits.
  3. Story was published as "AU XXIXme SIÈCLE: LA JOURNÉE D’UN JOURNALISTE AMÉRICAIN EN 2889" in a posthumously published publication titled "Hier et Demain" in 1910, under Jules Verne. MV's authorship and editorial changes are well documented for the publication in general. This specific story is much the same as that under the 2 French journals. It does contain numerous edits involving tense, punctuation and paragraph breaks. Textually, it reverts some modifications to the original English (e.g. 2889 vs. 2890), retains some changes (e.g. naming planet Gandini vs. Olympus) and changes text from both versions (e.g. life expectancy changed from 52 to 58 to 68).
  4. Story was translated and published as "In the Twentyninth Century: The Day of an American Journalist in 2889" in the Fitzroy edition of Yesterday and Tomorrow, under Jules Verne. This is a re-translation of the 1910 version.

I think the changes are minor enough to warrant this being a single story, but the confusion regarding authorship suggests otherwise. It seems there are three Jules Vernes - JV himself, as a house pseudonym used by MV, and as collaboration (here with MV). Using #2 as the title and JV & MV as authors for the canonical, then Title #2 with JV is a variant with the 2 publications. Title #3 with JV is a variant with the publication(s). There would be no title #3 with both authors. Then #1 is (translation) variant and #4 is also a translation variant and all the confusion is cleared up by including the comparison notes above in the canonical entry and in each of the variants in full or only the relevant parts. This is based on my interpretation of the beta version wording in the Help entry. Or have I got it wrong? ../Doug H 12:58, 6 May 2020 (EDT)

Unless I got lost somewhere (this puts some of the things I thought convoluted to shame), it looks correct to me. OR good enough for now anyway. Make sure you document all the variants and we can clean up as we go -- we may need to create an extra author record somewhere to clean up the relationship (like the "in error" ones we have here and there but let's see if we will - you cannot have a variant with more authors than the parent basically. As long as you have a parent at the top with the canonical name of the author AND "the most used title" (when possible), it is all good. So if you want, submit them as you are seeing them and then we can work on it if needed. Annie 13:15, 6 May 2020 (EDT)

LCCN discrepancy

I was entering my copy of Spider Robinson's "Time Travelers Strictly Cash" into my database, and noticed that the LCCN for the book is not the same as the LCCN listed on the copyright page. The LCCN is found at <>, but the LCCN listed on the copyright page is 00-028805. How often does this happen, that the original LCCN is changed to a different number? And what's the procedure for adding the LCCN to the record? List the current one, and make a note that the LCCN listed on the copyright page is different? --AndonSage 01:03, 29 April 2020 (EDT)

It happens - LCCNs from older printings and editions are printed or sometimes totally wrong ones. I would put the correct LCCN in the external ID spot (so our link is correct) and add a note explaining what is printed and that the real one is found by LOC search. Annie 02:03, 29 April 2020 (EDT)
That's what I figured. Thanks for the reply :) --AndonSage 16:24, 29 April 2020 (EDT)

Database of ISBN numbers for the science fiction genre/subject

We are Syracuse University graduate students in data science and our project is to predict science fiction book awards from a variety of data sources. We have a database of ~2M books but it does not include subject or genre information. Do you know of a source of ISBN numbers for the science fiction subject/genre? Thank you. John Fields —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Jtfields (talkcontribs) .

See ISFDB Downloads#Database Backups where you can download a backup of the ISFDB. That will give you access to all the data we have. We strive to be complete, but there is not a 100% source anywhere. We are pretty complete, though, for the mainstream publishers. If you find we are missing something, please let us know. We do have some non-genre novels (those by significant genre authors) so you will need to pay attention to the genre flag. As for subject, that is way more tricky. Some of our titles have tags with that information, but that is user dependent and spotty. -- JLaTondre (talk) 08:18, 30 April 2020 (EDT)
Wow, what an interesting project!
I guess you want to validate your forecasts by using yesterday's data. With ISBNs it is a problem that they only were established in the late 1960s / early 1970s. There's also the problem that we have a tag 'science fiction', but it are titles that are tagged, not publications, and only the latter can have an ISBN. Stonecreek 09:02, 30 April 2020 (EDT)
Matching the title tags to ISBNs is easy to do using the database dump. -- JLaTondre (talk) 10:00, 30 April 2020 (EDT)
If you are using the ISFDB backups as the source for historical award winners, as well as ISBNs - which makes sense, because that's by far the easiest source to work with AFAIK - you might want to be aware of the following records, that I had issues with last year when building visualizations that matched up award winners/finalists with their Goodreads ratings, using a GR API that's based on ISBN:

 #!/usr/bin/env python3
 Ugly hacks to deal with weird award nominees and/or inconsistencies between
 ISFDB and Goodreads data.
 # These (currently?) only come into play if there is no title_id defined, to
 # avoid accidental matches on titles used by more than one book.
 # If the value is 0, then the book has no (proper) ISFDB entry and should be
 # ignored.
   'The Wheel of Time (series)': 1984, # The Eye of the World (vol 1 of the series)
   'The Collected Stories of Roger Zelazny: Volumes 1-6 (series)':
     993245, # Threshold (vol 1 of the series)
   'The Telling': 0
   # "A Sense of Obligation" -> "Planet of the Damned", the latter has many more editions
   # 1253: 186628, # I think the code now covers this by doing get_all_related_title_ids()
   2038: 2036, # "Dune World" -> "Dune"
   41070: 32052, # "The Persistence of Vision" (novella) -> "TPoV" (collection), Ditmar 1978
   1061: '9780686551423', # Sylva - ISFDB doesn't have this edition
   33170: '1877655295', # Red Spider, White Web - GR has one of the 3 editions
                        # split off from the others.  (Prob. should be merged in GR)
   21566: '9780751504385', # King's The Mist - pick a non-special edition of Skeleton Crew
   2018: '088184554X', # The Embedding - avoid ISBN 0684138964 which is shared with another book
   1218: '9780099446781', # Silence of the Lambs - has note in ISFDB asking not to add pubs
   1676: '0575060670', # Kairos - seemingly incorrect ISBN
   1201: '9781473224728', # Second Stage Lensmen - avoid (possible) French trans
   3770: '0812535448', # The Far Call - 0803725019 flagged in ISFDB as dupe ISBN:
   1540: '0099199610', # The Memory of Earth - don't use 0712654119 which GR has combined with
                       # a box set/omnibus (Locus Best SF 1993)
   2161845: '9780765397522' # Don't use 978-1-73381-197-2 which is an anthology

I did provide updates to ISFDB for many of the above, where possible, although I kept these "hacks" around due to the 1-week turnaround between new database dumps meaning that I wasn't able to make use of those contributions at the time I needed them.

At the risk of pointing out something you already know, be aware that not all books have ISBNs - this particularly affects the Dragon Awards, where a fair proportion of prior finalists and winners are indie-published books that only have (had?) ASINs. ErsatzCulture 10:50, 30 April 2020 (EDT)

What makes the Awards section show up on a publication?

I was looking at "After the Fall..." by Nancy Kress, which won a Nebula in 2013 for best Novella. No awards are listed for the publication. Why not?Sjmathis 10:47, 2 May 2020 (EDT)

The awards are on the title level, not publication level - in the case of short fiction published in chapbooks, make sure you are looking at the novella level and not the chapbook level. Here in this case. Annie 11:28, 2 May 2020 (EDT)

Largely rewritten novel: a variant, or a separate title?

Hello, I came upon a situation where a novel has been largely rewritten, and we're not sure whether it is better to variant or instead, keep it as a separate title (see here). My original thinking - in line with discussions we've had in the past I believe - that it should have its own title record, but I'm now doubting myself. Any advice? Thanks! MagicUnk 03:43, 5 May 2020 (EDT)

Separate title when we are talking about major changes; variant (or merge) for small revisions. It can be subjective on what a major rewrite is (if it is just clarifying and cleaning the language, it is essentially the same type of change a translation is) but if characters changed names and so on or new actions happened, I would make it a separate title. Welcome to the fun world of bibliography I guess. In both cases, write title notes :) Annie 04:28, 5 May 2020 (EDT)

Contents in multiple languages on different pages

Hello. Example here Book has text in English, French and German. Each "Preface" (in each language) is on a sepearate page as is the "Introduction". How is this handled when entering contents ? --Mavmaramis 13:14, 7 May 2020 (EDT)

You add them as usual (with the correct titles). This will create them with the reference title language. Then you go and edit the ones that need a new language and change the language. So in this case, because this is French during the creation everything will be created as French and all the German and English ones will need to be edited after that.
Alternatively, if there are a LOT of titles, you can do in 3 passes (less edits that way):
  • Add the French ones first.
  • After approval, change the reference title language to the next language. After approval, add the titles in that language and so on. : Let me know if something does not make sense. Annie 13:21, 7 May 2020 (EDT)
When you say "add them as usual (with the correct titles)" do I enter each title in each language - the French and German ones are differently titled (and the German one is at the back of the book, the other two at the front). It seems a bit long winded and it's one of the reasons it puts me off adding content to publications in multiple languages - too much effort (sorry just how I feel about it). --Mavmaramis 05:34, 8 May 2020 (EDT)
Sounds to be a bit more complex than the usual complexity achieved with multi-language publications: usually, you'd enter the titles as stated at the beginning of each respective item, and then change the title language (on the title level) to the appropriate language for each and every content item (here: French or German). It just seems that at least the German titles are not stated with the respective German language items but only at the end of the book (in the Toc?); or are the German language items only separated from the English & French ones?.
If there are many items to be added (as it seems to be the case here), Annie's proposal seems much more convenient: it does achieve the same. Stonecreek 09:20, 8 May 2020 (EDT)
These Siudmak books don't have ToCs. Each language's version of the "Preface" is on a seperate (unnumbered) page, the German one just happena to be at the end of the book whereas the French and English ones are one after the other at the beginning. It's beginning to make my brain hurt and feels like more effort than it's worth to add content already mentioned in the notes. --Mavmaramis 11:18, 8 May 2020 (EDT)
Will the prefaces and intros be the only contents item? If it is just the three, just add them as they are titled at the top, ignore the language assignment for now and will sort them later. Even if the pages are not numbered, you count and add the number in square brackets. That should show the position of the different titles. Or post the contents here if your prefer and I will add them for you? Annie 12:32, 8 May 2020 (EDT)
Here is an artbook that seems to have been edited with a similar idea in mind, and will help to give you an impression what can be done and how it will look. If you do want to enter only the prefaces that also would be fine. And you do have only to give the respective titles, we should be able to do the rest. Stonecreek 11:32, 9 May 2020 (EDT)

Audio interview

Could I have some advice please on how to record this interview on the db, or even whether it should be entered at all: Philip K. Dick interview by Kandy Smith. Thanks, Kev. BanjoKev 20:07, 8 May 2020 (EDT)

If you feel like adding it, it is technically eligible if it was published as a tape: NON-FICTION book (to serve as a container), inside of it add 1 interview record. Format: Other and a a note: 1/4 inch audio tape.Annie 20:13, 8 May 2020 (EDT)
The question is - is it published as a tape or is it only now online -- if only online, it falls under the "it needs to be published" conversation so not eligible (or we will need to catalog half Youtube. Annie 20:16, 8 May 2020 (EDT)
As far as I can make it out it is held as a 1/4 inch audio tape in the "California Revealed from California State University, Fullerton, Paulina June & George Pollak Library" collection. Whether it has actually been published (say, as a tape, audiobook or suchlike format) or is only available online by accessing the link above remains to be seen. I could enquire about that to the university, but it would be a shame if we couldn't record it's existence here. And yes, I completely take your point about YouTube. Thanks, Kev. BanjoKev 20:36, 8 May 2020 (EDT)
There are a lot of interviews, reviews and articles (both audio and text) and even more importantly a lot of fiction out there online that is still not eligible for inclusion (author sites are never eligible for example; nor are random blogs on the internet) -- we expanded our online eligibility a few years ago (see this comparison to see what was changed: in short - before the changes we did not allow webzines unless they were qualifying market or nominated for an award) but we are nowhere near ready to allow all online content. It comes down to focus and what is achievable sometimes - we make the net too wide, we will mess up. If you feel strongly about this, open an R&S discussion on a further expansion of the rules. Annie 20:56, 8 May 2020 (EDT)
This would appear to be an unpublished interview kept in a California State University archive and made available online. At this time we do not include unpublished interviews and other unpublished archival materials (see ISFDB:Policy#Included for a list of what's included.) Links to archival collections can be added to Author Notes -- see John Taine's Summary page for an example. Ahasuerus 22:26, 8 May 2020 (EDT)
Thanks to both of you, very helpful. I'll ask the university if it remains unpublished and see if that leads anywhere. Meanwhile, I'll add the link to PKD's Author Notes. Kev. BanjoKev 05:37, 9 May 2020 (EDT)
Approved. Ahasuerus 10:05, 9 May 2020 (EDT)
Many thanks! Kev. BanjoKev 11:58, 9 May 2020 (EDT)

New Stories from The Twilight Zone.

Hello.I'm trying to upload a cover scan for this book , but I keep getting a message saying that the file is too big for the server. I'm sure I'm doing something wrong. Any assistance would be appreciated.


How big is the file you are trying to upload (in megabytes)? Mediawiki has a hard limit of 2 MB (and most covers are usually in the killobytes): the message is telling you that the file is too big. Annie 00:24, 9 May 2020 (EDT)
PS: We also have "It is recommended that files are no larger than 150 KB; this file is XXX KB" but this won't block it. Annie 04:30, 10 May 2020 (EDT)
But approx ~200 KB or more will be blocked if uploaded via "Upload new cover scan" on publication pages. Try to make the size of your file not (much) bigger than 150KB. MagicUnk 08:30, 10 May 2020 (EDT)

Who to credit for this cover art?

This cover consists of about 35 Edgar Rice Burroughs covers by various artists. Do I credit all of them, collectively or just leave it blank? Lots of notes? I'm thinking that varianting is out of the question as there can only be one parent. Unless we supported multiple 'covers' on a publication. Which was discussed in some forum, but I can't find it off hand. ../Doug H 15:49, 14 May 2020 (EDT)

We do support multiple covers but it is for cases with real two covers such as the dos books or the slipcase/cover different art scenario and so on. This one is tricky. On one hand, it will be nice to connect the covers and show that they are used. On the other 35 cover records will be a bit too much (maybe?). I think we have a few covers like that already - let me see if I can find them. Annie 15:57, 14 May 2020 (EDT)
I would record it as 1 cover, 35 artists. Multiple cover records would be wrong in my book (assuming we mean with 'Cover' the physical thing). Just my 2 cents MagicUnk 17:04, 14 May 2020 (EDT)
We have this, but 35 artists is a bit too much i.m.o. Probably better to do it like here. --Willem 17:20, 14 May 2020 (EDT)
I agree with MagicUnk and Willem: One cover with 35 artists. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe 18:11, 14 May 2020 (EDT)
Willem beat me to finding the examples I was looking for :) Annie 18:12, 14 May 2020 (EDT)

(unindent) Some assumptions have been made - 35 covers, probably around 6 to 8 artists. So example 1 would have been 35 covers, whereas option 2 would be about a half-dozen artists. So option 2, multiple artists on one cover, is preferred. Any suggestions on how to document in the notes to capture any relationship to original art? (I presume the COVERART title as opposed to the publication or title notes). ../Doug H 21:52, 14 May 2020 (EDT)

Another example, with 17 artists. Kev. BanjoKev 12:57, 15 May 2020 (EDT)
For the notes - you can link to the title records inside of the note - and yes, it should be the COVERART ones. :) Annie 13:21, 15 May 2020 (EDT)

For those interested this is how it turned out. ../Doug H 19:42, 15 May 2020 (EDT)

Nice job. I would add the year of the cover to the few places where the same artist did two covers for the same publisher and book but other from that, I like it. Annie 19:48, 15 May 2020 (EDT)
Given the number of reprints some of these went through, 'year' isn't always clear. Title was for the COVERART link and artist to provide a cross-check against my list. I wasn't sure about adding the publisher, but I had to track it to find the illustrations in the book (ISFDB is text-oriented), so I left it in. Beyond that, there was no real value to more data - if someone wants more - follow the links. ../Doug H 20:17, 15 May 2020 (EDT)
Original year of the cover :) There are some cells where the text is the same is the one next to it - looking like a repetition until you click. But either way works. Annie 22:00, 15 May 2020 (EDT)

I'm curious, do we list puzzle like books like this on this site. And if so, is this a collection, or a novel? Just asking. MLB 01:28, 19 May 2020 (EDT)

I apologize, I don't know how this got posted here, check below where it belongs. MLB 04:10, 19 May 2020 (EDT)

Choose you own adventure books

I'm curious, do we list puzzle like books like this on this site. And if so, is this a collection, or a novel? Just asking. MLB 01:29, 19 May 2020 (EDT)

I've pondered this also - Fighting Fantasy is in the database, but incomplete, and I've always wondered whether I should fill in the missing entries in that series. A quick check of similar gamebooks I remembered off the top of my head showed that Thompson & Smith's bibliography is incomplete - their time-travel Falcon series is in, but the better known ninja fantasy Way of the Tiger isn't - and Dever's Lone Wolf looks like it may be complete in titles, but certainly missing pubs, and the note in the first one comments "As a role-playing edition, this should probably not even be in the database..... and doesn't really qualify as a 'novel'". ErsatzCulture 03:30, 19 May 2020 (EDT)
Well, before I commit myselt, I'd like a yes or no to the question. There's a number of these out there, and I don't want to go through the work of putting them in the data base only to have them deleted because they don't fit in. I'd say these "Choose-Your-Own-Adventure" books fall in between novels and game books. It's a slippery slope, I guess, but I only edit here. MLB 04:07, 19 May 2020 (EDT)
We already have things like Endless Quest Universe and Find Your Fate as novels, so I think it's safe to enter these. --Willem 05:52, 19 May 2020 (EDT)
Even though we have a few, I don’t think they are in scope exactly. I probably won’t reject them but I am not going to add them either. Annie 09:25, 19 May 2020 (EDT)

Diabolical Plots eligible as webzine?

Hello, I 'think' Diabolical Plots is elligible for inclusion as webzine, but I'd like confirmation that this is indeed the case (they do have spec fic - see Bootleg Jesus, for example) Thanks! MagicUnk 12:47, 19 May 2020 (EDT)

Argh, forget it - just noticed the entries in the database - not sure how I ever could have missed these ... :( MagicUnk 12:48, 19 May 2020 (EDT)
"Speculative fiction webzines, which are defined as online periodicals with distinct issues (note: online periodicals without distinct issues are not considered webzines)" is the relevant rule here. Being in the DB means nothing sometimes - we have some stuff that is not eligible... In this case, it can be eligible (the A and B versions go into the same "issue" like in this one. It is a bit of a stretch but they have the numbering so... why not? Annie 13:07, 19 May 2020 (EDT)
Thanks for the confirmation Annie! MagicUnk

TITLE merges - which id?

Every time I Unmerge a generic translation from one TITLE and Merge it with the correct translation, I feel like I'm playing a kind of Russian Roulette with the links to the TITLE from the wiki and all my spreadsheet notes. When merging one or more TITLE records, which ID is used as the base? Is it possible to control it? What would be involved in adding the ID to the list of fields displayed that allow the editor to choose which value to use? ../Doug H 13:50, 22 May 2020 (EDT)

I believe it always keeps the lower title id number. However, the pending submission screen will tell you which one. The column on the left is labeled "KeepId [number]" and the one of left is labeled "DropId [number]". -- JLaTondre (talk) 17:40, 22 May 2020 (EDT)
So I can tell before committing which one will be kept, but have no control over which one it will be? ../Doug H 10:44, 23 May 2020 (EDT)

Tor Doubles

I've long been a fan of Ace Doubles, and recently I ran across the table in the ISFDB that lists all the Tor Doubles. Aha! Very interesting! I discovered that I even had a couple of them on my shelves, and I hadn't realized that there were a bunch of them.

Staring at the table, I have a couple of questions about what I see. Judging from the page counts, the first 17 all seem to be in dos format, like Ace Doubles, with two covers and two stories printed back to back. However, some of those are listed as 'pb' format, not 'dos'. So first question is this correct? Should they all be 'dos', except for the ones that are listed with a single page count?

Second question is why the Authors of most of them are shown as Editors?

Third question is why the 'type' of the book doesn't follow the convention used by Ace Doubles, where a 'dos' format book is a 'Omni' type, and not an 'Anthology', except for single authors, where it is generally a 'Collection'? Thanks, Jack Sjmathis 18:35, 22 May 2020 (EDT)

The anthology/collection vs omnibus depends on the length of the two works. A lot of the complete novels are shorter than 40K words - which makes them novellas. And two novellas mean an anthology or a collection (depends if the authors of the two are different). The dos format itself does not require the omnibus type - it just happens to coincide more often than not because the two works are two novels. If the two novels in the ace doubles turn out to be too short as well, this one Ace Double won’t be an omnibus either. :)
dos vs pb - a few examples will help. Generally the dos format requires the “2 works, back to back and rotated” binding. There may be mistakes in the db or something was changed in the series - cannot tell you without examples.
The editor vs author thing is a side effect of the type - for anthologies we always use the word editor and as these are omnibuses saved as anthologies due to the length of the work, that applies. Just one of the quirks of the database - you add it as a regular author, it is the visualization that makes it appear different
Hope that helps Annie 20:49, 22 May 2020 (EDT)
Yes, that helps. I wasn't thinking about the length of the works. Novels seem to have gotten a lot longer as I have aged. :) I was reading Ace Doubles when they first came out, and when they said "Complete Novel" on the cover, I took them at their word. Or maybe the Ace Doubles were novels, but the Tor Doubles tend to be novellas?
I have only a few Tor Doubles, so here are some examples based on what I own. You can pull up the table that shows all the Tor Doubles by going into Publishers, and then into Tor, and then finding the Tor Doubles listing, where they are listed by Pub. series number. I have #2, it's a 'pb' in the listing, but mine is a 'dos'. I have #4, it's a 'dos' in the listing, and mine is also a 'dos'. I have #5, it's a 'pb' in the listing, but mine is a 'dos'. I have #9 & #10, they are both listed as 'pb', but mine are 'dos'. I have #13 & #14, they are both listed as 'dos', and I agree. I have #24 & #30, and they are listed as 'pb', and I agree with that. I have #26 and it's listed as 'dos', and I agree with that.
The listing shows page counts, and for the first 17 books, they are all listed with two page counts, and I'm guessing that they should all be 'dos' format, and also for #19, #21, #23 & #25. Numbers #18, #20, #22, #24, and #27 thru #36 have single page counts, and they are probably all 'pb' formats.
I don't know how to proceed with this. Jack Sjmathis 12:56, 23 May 2020 (EDT)
I found an example of an Ace Double that has two page counts, but are contained in one 'pb'. See this. So perhaps the Tor Doubles are like this, which complicates things to the extent that someone will need to look at each book. Jack Sjmathis 16:17, 23 May 2020 (EDT)

Adding magazine issue to a series; Aphotic Realm, Issue 9 2020

I'm currently trying to add a copy of Aphotic Realm, issue 9 from 2020 but I've no idea how to even start, there appear to be no help instructions at all. I've got an ISBN and all author details. How do I add a new issue/year details, please?

There also appears to be no magazine tracker for 2020 either.

These are the basic details as per the other issues.

Title:- Aphotic Realm Magazine, Issue 9, January-March 2020. Third Anniversary Issue


Author/Editor:- ed. Chris Martin, A. A. Medina, Dustin Schyler Yoak

Publisher/Pub. Series:-

ISBN/Catalog ID:- 979-8629654810

Price:- £12.03

Pages:- 76

Format:- tp?

Type:- mag

Cover Artist:- Gunnar Larsen

If you can create an entry for this issue. I will add author & title details. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by RayDaley (talkcontribs) .

Adding to the series is as easy as adding a Series in the Magazine record -- then there is a second step after approval to make the yearly series. As we add publications, you do not look of how to add one to a series - you start the other way around - you start by adding the magazine and then figure out how it goes into the series :) If you want to try, you start with "New Magazine" (which opens this). I can also add it if you prefer but if you want to try? Once it is approved, a second update will sort out the 2020 record. Annie 20:31, 23 May 2020 (EDT)

Wrong attribution

My daughter's story was attributed to the wrong person. How can that be corrected? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by HelenDavis62 (talkcontribs) .

That would depend. Was it attributed wrongly here in the DB or was it attributed wrongly in the book/magazine it was published?
You can submit an edit of the author directly or you can post some more information about the specific case and someone can look it up and find out what happened. Annie 10:00, 25 May 2020 (EDT)

Daughter Here. It was attributed correctly in the book. The issue is that I and another author (both listed as Elizabeth Davis) share the same page. There is not obvious solution to making it clear that I and the other Elizabeth Davis are two seperate people. (Name is Elizabeth Davis, story is Dr Zwigli's Last Paper in the book Black Room Manuscripts Vol. 4) —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Elizabeth Davis (talkcontribs) .

Fixed. Now you have your own page. We disambiguate authors by adding a modifier for them -- usually I, II, III and so on unless we have one UK and one US one or we know the year they are born and so on - so we can assign that way. If you prefer another modifier, I can change it. Next time a story is added under the name Elizabeth Davis, the software will warn the editor that we have a disambiguation so someone will check which side it belongs to.
As the other author has more titles, your name gets the (I). If that changes and you accumulate a lot more titles, we can swap the names in the profile. Or leave it this way. Welcome to ISFDB. Feel free to submit an edit adding any details about yourself you want to add (besides language which I added already). :) Annie 20:05, 27 May 2020 (EDT)

Use email address only to reset password if username unknown?

Is there any way to add this as an option to the login screen?

You can currently only reset a password if you know your username, my issue, I suffer with a really bad short term memory and have just lost the PC I normally login from. (PC DIED) I had to create a new account so I can use ISFDB.

Not easily, I am afraid. However, if you would like to send the email address associated with your original user name to me (ahasuerus at, I could check the ISFDB database to see what that user name was. Ahasuerus 09:09, 1 June 2020 (EDT)


Hello. I got a papberback copy of this however my quesyion is this: Number line series is "3 5 7 9 10 5 6 4" which number do I take for the printing - the first or the last ?--Mavmaramis 09:57, 2 June 2020 (EDT)

The lowest. It's a carry-over from the hand-set days. All the printer had to do was remove the lowest for each printing, rather than find a new/different 'letter'. ../Doug H 10:01, 2 June 2020 (EDT)
I have updated Template:PublicationFields:PubNote with links to Web pages explaining how to interpret number lines. Ahasuerus 10:45, 2 June 2020 (EDT)
Thank you. --Mavmaramis 10:54, 2 June 2020 (EDT)

N. K. Jemisin - Inheritance Trilogy

Orbit(UK) in cooperation with UK-Bookworm has published (in 2019) a limited edition hardcover set of Jemisin's The Inheritance Trilogy comprising "The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms", "The Broken Kingdoms" and "The Kingdom of Gods" forming the original trilogy, plus a fourth volume, "The Awakened Kingdom And Other Stories" collecting the novella from the same universe, "The Awakened Kingdom", and three related short stories, all previously published in one form or another. In my first attempt to contribute to ISFDB, I have submitted for approval a new "publication" under each of the three trilogy titles, but I am stuck as to how to submit data for the fourth volume. I would think this should be a new publication to "The Inheritance Trilogy (Jemisin)" series, but I can't figure out how to add a publication to a series as there isn't such an option under Editing Tools. Could you please give me some "how to" instructions? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Mskerstetter (talkcontribs) .

Start with "New Collection", at the top of the screen where it says series, you add the series name. You can add the stories in the contents (then they will need to be merged) or you can import them later (preferred). Let me know if you need more details.
Here you always start with the book/magazine - series and so on are set either inside of the creation screen or later as follow-up steps. Welcome! :) Annie 19:19, 6 June 2020 (EDT)

Entering an ESSAY

I'm stuck. I want to enter a Tim Powers collection. I plan to submit the collection, then import the contents. However, the collection contains an Introduction by Howard Kaylan that doesn't already exist. So my expectation is that I need to create it on the Kaylan page before I do the importing. I think I'm correct in believing that this introduction is an ESSAY, but for the life of me I can't find any way to create an ESSAY. Can you please help me? Mike 22:53, 7 June 2020 (EDT)

For that matter, I don't see how to add a new SHORT FICTION. Mike 22:56, 7 June 2020 (EDT)

You can do that, but it's better to clone an existing publication of the collection (this way you have not to merge the two titles after the action). Either way you will be able to add contents (here: an ESSAY): there should be an empty title field at the end of the content titles list when adding / cloning a publication (choose the appropriate title type via the drop-down menu). Stonecreek 23:43, 7 June 2020 (EDT)
You do not need to create a story or an essay individually - and you cannot because we catalog books and these two are always part of a book - you add them as contents inside of the books. Import is for contents we already have in the DB; new contents gets added directly into the books. As Stonecreek mentioned - if we already have the book in the DB, you can start with a clone instead of add or new publication. Annie 05:04, 8 June 2020 (EDT)

Ok, let's see if I understand you. There is no existing entry for this exact Powers collection publication. However, there is a very similar existing entry. The differences involve a different publisher, one new short story, and forward and introduction differences. So I should clone the existing publication and then edit all the differences in and out? Mike 22:16, 9 June 2020 (EDT)

Or you can start with a new collection, add the new titles during this initial creation (or later edit to add them) and import from the older one using option 1 (importing from a book as opposed to importing titles one by one) - either way can work. What should not be done if possible is to add the stories we already have as new stories inside of the collection because this will mean that we need to merge each story later. Annie 22:47, 9 June 2020 (EDT)

I don't know which method is easiest. If I clone, I anticipate having to change every data point for the title (title, publisher, pub date, etc), delete the existing forward and introduction, create the new introduction, create the new short story, and then change the page number for all the rest of the story contents that came from the original. Is each of these changes an individual submission for approval or can it all be done in one submission? Alternatively, I can create a new collection along with a new introduction and new short story, wait for it to be approved, then import all of the other short stories from the existing listings. During the import process, do I have to do a single story import per submission or can I list multiple title record numbers in a single import? Mike 01:57, 10 June 2020 (EDT)

You can import from the other book directly which will import the other introduction as well. Then when you are setting the page numbers, put "DEL" instead of a number on the ones that need removing. Once approved, a moderator will do Remove Titles to remove them or if they do not, you can do it later.
You can also import just the stories one by one inside of a single submission (the + sign on the form will allow you to see more lines to add more IFs. Annie 01:59, 10 June 2020 (EDT)

Annie, before I tackle this Powers collection, based upon the results so far with my Julian May Pliocene Exile omnibus, I'm not sure I'm executing imports correctly or maybe just understanding imports properly. This is a 5 volume boxed set that contains each of the Pliocene Exile books plus "The Pliocene Companion". The only difference in these individual volumes from the individually released books is the inclusion of a signed and numbered limitation page. My plan (so far partially completed) was to submit creation of the omnibus and then import (by title reference) each of the five volumes. So far, the omnibus has been created (albeit with an error on my part, the fix for which needs to be approved) and two of the imports have been approved. But if I look at the listing for the omnibus, the contents shown is really confusing. I expected to just see a reference to the two individual books, but what I see is the internal contents of the first volume and nothing from the other imported volume. What have I done wrong? Mike 11:50, 10 June 2020 (EDT)

There is no way to have a reference from one book to another - so indeed you need to enter the complete contents instead. They just need ordering because someone needs to tell the software which entry belongs to which book. Let me fish out the remaining imports from the Queue and then I will add the ordering elements and post on your page with explanations. Annie 13:13, 10 June 2020 (EDT)

Two series and too much information

These series Planetary and Planetary Anthology Series are the same series, but different publishers. And now, I recreated some of these books in these series because none of the enterers of these series got coordinated. I throw up my hands, and give up. I went through a lot of work creating my submissions; wasted work. I blame myself for not checking, but my submissions are still there. They can be pillaged for info or totally deleted. I no longer care. MLB 22:59, 8 June 2020 (EDT)

I migrated the two 'different' titles to the already established series. It happens from time to time that a series is continued with a different publisher. Stonecreek 02:11, 9 June 2020 (EDT)

Counting (or not) preceding pages.

By preceding pages, I mean things like the title page, copyright page, maybe a contents page, etc. In particular, I'm interested to know if limitation pages, either at the beginning or at the end, are counted. Are any of these these counted?

I'm new to entering data into isfdb so I'm sorry if this is the wrong place for these questions. If so, please direct me to the correct spot.

Looking at various existing entries, because page counts seem to usually start at the first page of the story, I would have said "no", though it seems like limitation pages are important content that should be recognized. However, I recently was looking at my copy of Julian May's "The Golden Torc". It has both introductory material with Roman numerals and some unnumbered maps and such at the end giving it a page count xxv+381+[6], which I find confusing. It is confusing because the first page that actually shows a Roman numeral is numbered ix, which is a Contents page. And counting backwards, I find that page i is actually the half-title page. So for this title, EVERY page is counted from the half-title on EXCEPT the limitation page, verso and recto, immediately preceding the half-title. The next three books in the series do the same. So is this a vagary of this particular series or should I regularly be counting all material from the half-title (or a preceding limitation page) on? Mike 21:07, 8 June 2020 (EDT)

Here is the Help Page in question.
We count all the pages before the stories/novels/actual text if there is something there we want to index or note; otherwise a note is enough; we do not count anything after the last numbered or with valid text page (whichever is later). So we won't have +[6] at the end unless there is something valid there - but you can add this to your notes. Which does not mean that we don't have books that actually have it - between different people misunderstanding the rules and the rules getting clarified a few times, we constantly correct things.
As for that specific book - if there is a PV, you can post and ask them. If not, we have a lot of different editions of The Golden Torc and without specifying which one you are looking at, it is very hard to offer any ideas... Based on the notes, I suspect you mean this one?
Sometimes it can get confusing -- and you are always welcome to come here and ask if you are not sure. Or explain in the moderator note so the approving moderator can assist you. Annie 23:03, 9 June 2020 (EDT)

How to suggest an author is a variant name for a separate author entry

I believe that 'Jenn Reese' and 'Jenn Coleman-Reese' are the same person. My supporting data comes from the author blurb for 'Dave Coleman-Reese' in Sword&Sorceress 17 where it states that he is married to 'Jenn Reese' Not 100% certain, but it seems fairly likely. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by GlennMcG (talkcontribs) . 11:03, 17 June 2020 (EDT)

If you can verify it is indeed the same author, go to the one that will become the "pseudonym" (the one with less books unless there is a reason to be another one). In this case Jenn Coleman-Reese. Look at the left menu and locate "Make/Remove Alternate Name". It will open this page. The Help page for it is here. You either use the ID of the other author or the name, add your reasons in the moderator note and then submit. In cases where the pseudonym is not obvious, adding a note to the author record may also be a good idea.
Please note that you also need to get to each of the pseudonym titles and create parents for them (with the Canonical name author as an author). In order to do that you go to the title (such as here) and find the "Make This Title a Variant" menu and use option 2, just changing the author (unless the parent already exists - then you can use option 1. Annie 14:14, 17 June 2020 (EDT)

'as by' vs. 'only as by'

I'm curious what the difference is between the 'as by' vs. the 'only as by' author linkages on a given author page. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by GlennMcG (talkcontribs) . 13:26, 19 June 2020 (EDT)

"As by" means that there are books both by the pseudonym and by the canonical author.
"Only as by" means that all the books are under the pseudonym but we do not have a record under the actual canonical name.
Hope that makes sense. Annie 16:37, 19 June 2020 (EDT)
In addition, there is "also as by" which means the work was published under the canonical author name and also under a single alternate author credit using the same title. -- JLaTondre (talk) 16:42, 19 June 2020 (EDT)

Thanks! --GlennMcG 18:41, 19 June 2020 (EDT)

Two cover titles instead of one

There is an anthology that has two cover titles but only one to be seen. I guess the first (double) cover art is an import/export mistake, so I wanted to remove it but it didn't work. Is it necessary to clarify that problem? And how could it be done? --Zapp 11:01, 21 June 2020 (EDT)

What do you mean by it didn't work? If you use "Remove Titles From This Pub", it shows both cover records. Selecting the one to remove and submitting should work. Did you get an error or something? Thanks. -- JLaTondre (talk) 11:09, 21 June 2020 (EDT)
I didn't know that cover art belongs to contents. I'm not expierienced enough. --Zapp 04:05, 22 June 2020 (EDT)

Creating a variant title vs editing the title field in the publication record

Something that I thought I understood, but it seems that maybe I don't...

I want to add the UK ebook of Tanith Lee's Sabella, as available here. The "Look Inside" preview indicates that this is titled just "Sabella", whereas the title (for the English language novel) we have is "Sabella or The Blood Stone".

My initial thought was to add this ebook as a new novel - as opposed to adding a pub to the existing title - then make the new title a variant of the existing one. However, I noticed that at we have one existing publication using the shorter title, but referring back to the title record for the longer title, which makes me wonder if I'd be doing the wrong thing? (I'm guessing this was done by editing the publication record after the fact? Or maybe the UI has changed since that pub was created?)

Are there any rules or guidance about when editing the title field in the pub record is the right thing to do, versus having a variant title? I've looked at this, this and this, but didn't spot anything that might cover this topic. ErsatzCulture 10:27, 22 June 2020 (EDT)

This is the subtitle exception ("or" is the "old style" way to do subtitles) although I really do not like this case. My understanding of this is that if we have "Title: Subtitle 1", "Title: Subtitle 2" and "Title", instead of variants, we merge these, with the TITLE record having "Title" as the title. So if we want Sabella to be treated this way, the Title record will need to be "Sabella". I would unmerge this one and variant (and get yours there as well) but you may want to wait for a few more opinions (and I will see where we have that documented). Annie 10:32, 22 June 2020 (EDT)
Don't merge, variant instead. Much cleanervthat way. MagicUnk 01:47, 23 June 2020 (EDT)
It is cleaner when merged: just add a note and you all have it in one record instead of two or more. Christian Stonecreek 02:44, 23 June 2020 (EDT)
Yeah, I don’t like variants for subtitles either. But as I said, the title record should be without a subtitle IMO. Annie 03:23, 23 June 2020 (EDT)
I agree about subtitle treatment, but I disagree that "or" should be handled as the subtitle case. Publications using Sabella and Sabella: The Blood Stone should be recorded that way, against a subtitle-less Sabella record as Annie says. But IMO, Sabella or The Blood Stone is a different case and should be a variant as MagicUnk says. As soon as you get into words instead of punctuation, identification of subtitle vs. full title blurs. --MartyD 09:55, 23 June 2020 (EDT)
Either we treat this as a subtitle (so we keep these together) or we do not (so we split) and we adjust the capitalization - if "The Blood Stone" is not a subtitle, "the" should not be capitalized - strictly speaking, our rules allow only colon to lead a subtitle but the practice had allowed ",or" and "or" so the lines had blurred (do we need a rule clarification discussion?). I am fine either way but we cannot have it both ways :) Annie 10:06, 23 June 2020 (EDT)
When you say "or" is the "old style" way, are you referring to publishers in the 19th century or ISFDB in the 20th century? Or more specifically, does the presence of the "or" (with or without commas) on the title page make a difference? ../Doug H 08:53, 24 June 2020 (EDT)
Publishers. This title had been treated as if the "or" is bringing in a subtitle -- which is why the two versions had been merged and the "The" is capitalized. We have some more in the DB I had stumbled upon. One of those "practice vs. written rules things". Does the "or" matter is exactly what I am trying to as as well - we need to decide what we want to do with these - do we expand the subtitles definition or do we treat these as just part of the title. Or on its own does not always bring in subtitles (so it may be harder to enforce if we decide to treat these as subtitles). Annie 10:32, 24 June 2020 (EDT)
I think we are talking about "alternate titles" as defined in this discussion from a couple years back. --Ron ~ RtraceTalk 10:51, 24 June 2020 (EDT)
Rose by any other name.... :) They are the de-facto subtitles for older books -- they serve the same purpose as modern day subtitles. But yeah, now that you pointed to it, I remember this thread. If we are not going to treat these as subtitles (I am not advocating for it -- I really do not have an opinion), we need to do some cleanup. Look at Frankenstein -- the short title is varianted BUT if you look at the no variants filter, there are a lot of naked titles mixed in it. I suspect that most of our popular titles with the old-style alternative titles have a similar problem. Annie 11:17, 24 June 2020 (EDT)
My take on the issue. I believe we are starting to drift away from the 'ideal' to record what is stated in the book. So, titles/subtitles must be recorded as stated in the book (with colon if these are clearly separate, without colon if it's the 'or' case, or really any other variant) - the only acceptable exception is where title or subtitle serves as a series indicator. Then you can abbreviate the full title and omit the series info. So, the example given above by ErsatzCulture should be corrected, and title varianted to the canonical title. The argument that when merging these pub records are all in the same place doesn't really hold, as varianting, and hen displaying the canonical title, will show you exactly the same information, so there is no preference to merge over varianting for what information display is concerned. When taking this vision, the whole discussion whether the 'or' means a title/subtitle separator becomes moot in my opinion because we would be treating title/subtitle just as a regular title, nothing more. Just record what's in the book, and if it differs from what's shown in another edition, just variant. In the example given, this would mean that both Sabella or The Blood Stone, as well as Sabella: The Blood Stone should be varianted to the canonical Sabella. Clean and straightforward. So please, let's not drift away from recording what's in the book if we can avoid it and remove the practice of merging Sabella and Sabella: The Blood Stone. (and to be honest, when reading your replies, I'm not entirely sure if you all are more or less agreeing with this, or not...) Anyway, cheers! It's hot outside. I'm going to have a real beer! :-D MagicUnk 12:11, 24 June 2020 (EDT)
Noone is proposing that we do not record what is in the book on the publication level though (which is where we do the "record as is in the book" - we are discussing how to handle the titles records. These are two very different topics - we add all kinds of "special handling stuff" on the title level for differentiation purposes and so on. The subtitle exception had always existed (or had existed for a very long time anyway) and it has to do with publishers changing subtitles every each way (sometimes just for the sake of a change). :) Annie 12:24, 24 June 2020 (EDT)
Yes, I do think we are talking about the same. What I'm not sure about is is to what original subtitle exception rule you are referring? For me, each publication must reflect in its contents section the title that appears on the title page, and that should reflect in the title record it is linked to. That title record in its turn needs to be varianted to whatever other title is out there that is the canonical one. Or at least that's how I understand and interpret the current rules. Oh, and I drank a Filou :) MagicUnk 14:52, 24 June 2020 (EDT)

Adding stories to verified (but empty) anthology records

What's best practice/polite way to add stories to an anthology that is missing all its stories? I could submit an edit and let the chips fly, but would prefer to not ruffle feathers. Grantville Gazette VII [[5]] --GlennMcG 20:59, 23 June 2020 (EDT)

If you own or have access to a copy the best way is to primary verify the publication (when you have only limited access please primary verify it transiently), and just add the contents. If you do it using another source (a copy, or Amazon, for example) please do note the source in the note to moderator field (if the pub. is primary verified by someone other than you, the fill-in for this field is mandatory anyway). Stonecreek 01:49, 24 June 2020 (EDT)

I own the book. What should I do if I don't totally agree with the data already entered and primary verified? The title page indicates a 2nd editor that's missing from the record. What sequence of operations should I perform? One guess: edit 2nd editor, wait for acceptance, primary verify, wait for acceptance?, add interior data, wait for acceptance. --GlennMcG 15:51, 24 June 2020 (EDT)

As the PV is active and around often, the best way is to actually post on their page and discuss with them before submitting the change? If the PV is inactive then you could submit the editor change and the contents together, with a note that you own the book. Annie 16:12, 24 June 2020 (EDT)

I talked with the PV and was all set to make edits when I discovered a record (255473) with the correct/complete information already present. How would one merge these records? --GlennMcG 19:52, 25 June 2020 (EDT)

This is the ebook. We keep a record for each separate format so we are not going to merge the books (we cannot - if they are real duplicates, we would have deleted one of them). Instead you do the following:
  • Submit an edit that changes the editors for the pb. This will then allow us to merge the ANTHOLOGY title records -- leaving both publications under it.
  • Import the stories - go to the pb version and locate the Import menu. In option 1 there, put the ID of the e-book and follow the screens :)
You can submit both of these (edit and import) at the same time. Once approved, your book will have the stories and the correct editors and either a moderator or you can submit the merge of the title records for the anthology. Let me know if any other explanations or help are needed. Annie 20:34, 25 June 2020 (EDT)

Sorry, wrong record #. [[6]] has all the info, and is marked up as 'pb'. ISBN search for 978-1-4767-8139-6 shows both records. --GlennMcG 01:09, 26 June 2020 (EDT)

Ah. Missed this one - keep the instruction above for next time :) In this case we will need to delete the incomplete record. So you can PV the complete one and I will work with the verifier of the incomplete one to get his PV moved before I delete the incomplete record. We can merge titles but not publications. Thanks for finding it! Annie 01:28, 26 June 2020 (EDT)

New name of magazine

In winter 2018, Faerie Magazine became Enchanted Living. How do I add the magazine under this name to the database, so the issues with the new name stay with the ones with the original name? Do I change the name of the magazine as a whole? Thanks.--Rosab618 21:44, 23 June 2020 (EDT)

No, we will connect them on the series level. So add the issue with its title at the time it got published and when the series for it is created, both the old and this new series will be added to the same parent series. Annie 21:50, 23 June 2020 (EDT)

Tomorrow SF: name change, move from print to online with irregular dating

My 'adventures' with A Budrys Miscellany continue... (Don't ask about the umpteen reviews that I entered and lost)

One of the items in the book is the complete set of 37 Editorials published in Tomorrow Speculative Fiction, and it's successor online incarnation. So far I have added title items for the 24 print issues, and merged them with the Editorial titles in the magazine issues. There's a note in the Miscellany book that says:

"The next twelve editorials (25 to 36) are also numbered online in the final version of the Tomorrow SF website as First Editorial to Twelfth Editorial. Despite this clear-seeming succession the website numbering soon becomes confusing, with issues designated 10.4, 12.2 and so on to the final farewell at 17.0, here numbered as editorial 37. According to SF magazine historian Mike Ashley, there were 40 issues in all, 24 printed and 16 online: presumably some, in that final online year when Tomorrow SF published only reprinted stories by Budrys himself, had no editorials."

At the start of Editorial #25, Budrys says "Welcome to the first electronic issue of tomorrowsf, which you will notice is no longer Tomorrow Speculative Fiction."

I can add the rest of the Editorials into the Miscellany publication, with what info is present as regards date, and the sequence number. My question is 'What do we do about the online issues? Do we normally add online magazines to the ISFDB? --Mjcrossuk 19:33, 24 June 2020 (EDT)

Only a limited set of them - fiction webzines with specific issues and fiction-only issues of non-fiction ones plus a handful of others due to awards. See the exact definitions Here. So if the online issues are the like the old paper ones (mainly stories and separated into issues) then yes - they are eligible for being added in the same way the paper ones are added. Do you know of a record of the online issues somewhere? Annie 01:35, 26 June 2020 (EDT)
I'm not aware of any directly-accessible record of the online issues. The editorials from the online issues are from Internet Archive snapshots of the website, so it may be possible to get the contents of the issue that way. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by User:Mjcrossuk (talkcontribs) .
Internet Archive has their website here. Paging back through the history, it does look like they had issues. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like what content was in what issue and when published will be able to be pulled from the website. They just have an archive of all stories / articles with no information I see of which one was in what issue. So yes, it would be eligible, but we would need more information to enter. -- JLaTondre (talk) 07:39, 26 June 2020 (EDT)

Error uploading cover image

I'm getting the following error when attempting to upload a cover image.

Error creating thumbnail
line 4: /usr/local/bin/convert: No such file or directory

It's a 67KB jpeg file. Thoughts? --GlennMcG 16:50, 29 June 2020 (EDT)

It is the size of the image - not in bytes but the dimensions - it needs to be less than 600 pixels along its largest dimension. Annie 16:52, 29 June 2020 (EDT)
That's not a very clear error message. --GlennMcG 17:13, 29 June 2020 (EDT)
It comes from the library that we use. Unlike the site, the wiki is mostly pre-packaged code. :) Annie 17:18, 29 June 2020 (EDT)
convert is an external application that needs to be installed separately from the wiki. I assume there is a reason why it's not installed on the ISFDB server. -- JLaTondre (talk) 18:54, 29 June 2020 (EDT)
To be clear, this is not an error you generally need to worry about (assuming that you are uploading images within the recommended sizes). It just means the preview on the Image:NAME page won't display. The full image is still there (click on the full resolution link) and can still be used on the pubs. -- JLaTondre (talk) 18:52, 29 June 2020 (EDT)